A couple of major star vehicles hitting DVD this week, and two that you probably don’t remember. Seriously, close your eyes and try to envision what movie How Do You Know? was. Got it yet? No? Yeah, didn’t think so – it was the rom-com featuring Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd. Okay, you still don’t know what it is, just trust me, it exists and you can get it on DVD this week.
It’s joined by the controversial Golden Globe choice The Tourist and perhaps the biggest star of them all, as Yogi Bear makes his DVD debut. All that, plus you can now follow me around on Twitter @paynehumor and get all my snark 140 characters at a time.
Check it out below…
How Do You Know? and The Tourist
It’s been said before, but allow me to throw one more shovel-full of dirt on the grave that is the idea that movie stars help a film succeed at the box office.
Exhibit A: The Tourist
By all measures, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp are the top female and male box office stars, respectively. She’s on the cover of every magazine, routinely makes hit films, and is given the keys as the sole headliner of many high-profile vehicles. Depp, meanwhile hit a $1 Billion worldwide with Alice in Wonderland right after headlining the very successful Pirates trilogy with one more on the way.
Throw them together in a sexy thriller and you’ve got easy box office gold, right? Well that is if you consider $67 Million against a $100 Million budget to be something that Kind Midas would enjoy.
Exhibit B: How Do You Know?
“Okay, so we’ve spent $120 Million on a romantic comedy from the guy who last gave us Spanglish.
“But it’s okay because we have Reese Witherspoon. She’s probably the most bankable female movie star out there, especially when it comes to rom-coms. Plus, we have Paul Rudd. All his movies make money!
“Not only that, but we have Owen Wilson – he was in Wedding Crashers, that movie was huge! And Jack Nicholson to boot. Everybody loves Jack!”
Well, that theory didn’t quite work out. Didn’t work out to the tune of making only $30 million against that staggering budget. So how did it even get that high? Probably because when you have a nice roster of movie stars headlining, you can get a blank check. Of course, being James L. Brooks doesn’t hurt either.
So what does this show us? That it didn’t matter who was in these movies. They looked bad, the trailers stunk, and they bombed. Absolutely bombed.
As little as ten years ago, these films would have been massive hits with these stars. All you needed to do in decades past, was list your stars and people would flock to the theater regardless of the trailer. Now we see the movie stars all over TMZ and the Internet whenever we want, and we need a good movie as an excuse to pay to see them, not the other way around.
So why do they continue to shell out big bucks to the stars? Beats me. Unless you consider the fact that The Tourist made almost $200 Million abroad. Perhaps the stars still draw overseas.